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Bill cuts a fluorescent light out of his ceiling to show that plasmas and their products are all around us - they're essential in making circuit boards, lights, and even potato chip bags.

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Transcript Today I want to tell you about the most amazing thing in the world: A plasma. We've all hear of solid, liquids and gases, but there's a fourth form of matter: That's a plasma.

Allan, cut the power now.

OK... back on.

Look inside this bulb ... it no piece of wire that burns brightly, this isn't like a regular light bulb. Instead it contains a gas that is electrically charged. Or it did! [SMILE] Usually a gas is electrically neutral, that is, the positive and negative charges reside together, but in a plasma they are ripped apart. Each end of the ...tube has a metal electrode. An electric discharge pass from one end to the other. You can make your own plasma ....

Although its dangerous and I don't recommend you do it because you can burn your house down.

If you put a grape under a cup in a microwave and heat it briefly, it creates a plasma.

Now how could such a thing affect our lives? The tiny silicon microchip that runs every computer depends on plasmas ...

The circuit drawn on that chip is created by plasma etching: The highly charged gas burns very precise lines in the chip creating the circuit. And plasmas appear in our lives in even more mundane ways ....

... this chip bag is made from Mylar - a very thin plastic - and to get ink to stick to it the manufacturers blast it with a plasma and then ink readily adheres to the bag.